Report (ROA): The SIC received a request of assistance from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) regarding several Lebanese and none Lebanese nationals accused of drug trafficking.
Analysis and investigation: A search of the SIC database revealed that some were subject to previous investigations relating to drug trafficking and counterfeiting of currency. At the time, the SIC identified and froze accounts and forwarded the matter to the General Prosecutor for further investigation. With the new ROA at hand, the SIC circulated all the names to banks, financial institutions and money remittance companies operating in Lebanon. Findings revealed the existence of one bank account that was dormant and had a minimal balance. One money remittance company reported a few remittances in prior years, one of which was received from abroad.
Subsequent measures: The SIC forwarded the findings to the General Prosecutor for further investigation and requested from all money remittance companies to refrain from executing any future transactions for the suspects.
Report (ROA): The SIC received a request of assistance from the Lebanese General Prosecutor concerning a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) case originating from a foreign judicial authority. The MLA was related to acts of tax evasion and fraudulent bankruptcy committed by a suspect, as well as accusations against him for using his Lebanese registered company to conceal large amounts of money. Accusations also covered illegal acts involving real estate that affected a company’s operations abroad and caused losses in salaries and social security contributions.
Analysis & Investigation: The SIC initiated its investigation by circulating the names of the suspect and his company to all banks and financial institutions operating in Lebanon in an effort to identify accounts and transactions. The SIC identified one bank account for the suspect’s company, and obtained the account statements as well as available CDD information. The analysis performed identified transfers received from abroad totaling 4 Million Euros that were later transferred to a relative and abroad.
Subsequent Measures: Banking secrecy was lifted and SIC findings were forwarded to the Lebanese General Prosecutor to take appropriate measures including providing information to the foreign judicial authority
Report (ROA): The SIC received a request of assistance from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) concerning a detainee and several fugitives suspected of being involved in TF activities. The ISF sought the SIC assistance in order to identify related accounts and transactions in Lebanon and abroad since preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects had also travelled across several countries.
Analysis and Investigation: Locally, the SIC initiated its investigation by circulating the names of the suspects to all banks, financial institutions and money remittance companies operating in Lebanon. Bank accounts were identified for two of the suspects. The analysis carried out on the obtained bank records and the statements showed similar patterns of several small-amount cash deposits as well as cash and ATM withdrawals. Two money remittance companies also reported executing for them several incoming and outgoing remittances. Internationally, the SIC requested assistance from several counterpart FIUs. One FIU provided information on one of the suspects for being involved in terrorism related activities and that a warrant was issued for his arrest. A second FIU reported having received on the same suspect from a bank an STR in connection with unjustified cash deposits and a transfer. Two other FIUs reported having information on two other suspects. One mentioned having in its database three unusual transactions pertaining to unexecuted operations for a suspect due to lack of documentation and cooperation. The other FIU revealed having information on a bank account belonging to a suspect that had a minimal balance and was used to pay off debt and credit card transactions executed in several countries.
Subsequent Measures: The SIC decided to freeze the identified bank accounts in Lebanon, and sent all the findings including information obtained from counterpart FIUs to the General Prosecutor, who later forwarded the case for prosecution on TF charges.
|2017||Health Care Fraud||
Report (ROA): The SIC received a request of assistance from a counterpart FIU concerning a suspect and a healthcare company. The requesting FIU was seeking assistance on behalf of a law enforcement agency investigating a health care fraud case in which fraudulent claims for reimbursement were submitted to a government healthcare agency. Illicit Proceeds resulting from the said fraudulent activities were obtained and transferred from abroad via several accounts to a bank account in Lebanon. This was done to conceal the source of the funds.
Analysis and Investigation: The SIC investigated the case and the findings revealed that the suspect maintained a bank account in Lebanon. The analysis of the obtained bank statement revealed that a wire transfer originating from abroad was received and seemed to be connected to the case.
Subsequent Measures: The SIC decided to lift banking secrecy, freeze the funds, and forward the findings to the General Prosecutor. The information at hand was also shared with the counterpart FIU that was informed of the need for a mutual legal assistance request to recover the funds.
|2017||Embezzlement of Private Funds||
Report (ROA): The Special Investigation Commission received a request of assistance from the Lebanese General Prosecutor concerning two suspects who colluded in order to embezzle funds. In preparation for their scam, they used forged documents, and signed a contract with the victim highlighting terms and conditions for the sale of real estate. The victim was required to pay six million U.S dollars for the purchase of the said real estate. After providing the suspects with several payments as a step towards the transfer of ownership, the victim realized that the sale contract was dubious and that the suspects were not authorized to sell the property. Banking information among other things was needed to complement the ongoing investigation.
Analysis and Investigation: The name of one of the suspects was already on the SIC database due to a filed STR on an account which reflected transactions inconsistent with his profile. The SIC decided to widen its investigation by circulating the names of the two suspects to all banks and financial institutions operating in Lebanon. Several bank accounts were identified. An analysis was carried out on the obtained bank records, and the statements reflected several checks issued from the victim being deposited into the two suspects’ accounts at several banks. This was followed by cash withdrawals, checks and transfers.
Subsequent Measures: As a precautionary measure, the SIC froze the balances of the identified accounts, lifted banking secrecy and also provided the General Prosecutor with the findings to complement the ongoing investigation.